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Rejuvenated India gunning for another ODI title

Last updated on: July 10, 2013 14:00 IST

Rejuvenated India gunning for another ODI title

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Bolstered by their dramatic comeback in the tournament, a rejuvenated India will be gunning for yet another title when they clash with an equally determined Sri Lanka in the final of the tri-nation ODI series in Port of Spain.

The reigning Champions Trophy winners may get a further boost with the possibility of regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni returning to the playing eleven after being laid low by a hamstring injury. A decision on Dhoni's availability will be taken before the toss.

Their campaign in tatters after back-to-back defeats in the first leg of the tournament, the Indians fought back with two bonus-point wins to cruise into the final at the expense of hosts West Indies.


Image: The Indian team
Photographs: Philip Brown/Reuters

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Dhoni could be back for final

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Despite the absence of Dhoni, who was ruled out after the loss to the West Indies in the series opener, stand-in skipper Virat Kohli successfully braved a difficult phase as the 'Men in Blue' rose to the occasion.

India entered the final as table-toppers, having posted two wins from four matches -- same as the other two teams -- but had the advantage of enjoying a better net run-rate.

The Indian team composition for the game at the Queen's Park Oval will more or less be the same. If Dhoni is declared fit, Murali Vijay will make way for the senior player.

However, one thing is for sure: neither Kohli nor Dhoni will tinker with the winning combination.


Image: MS Dhoni
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Jayawardene, Sangakkara key for Sri Lanka

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The Sri Lankans will once again look to old guards Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara for success against a team that has been their nemesis in a few tournament finals, including the 2011 World Cup.

Both Jayawardene and Sangakkara have had their share of success against India in the past and it will be crucial from the islanders' point of view that the two veterans click for the team.

But it won't be easy for the Lankans as they just lost to India. The result though paved the way for their South Asian neighbour's convincing entry into the title clash ahead of the hosts.


Image: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

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Decent starts from Dhawan, Rohit

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Though their exploits haven't really set the Caribbean islands ablaze, India's batting still wears a formidable look with the in-form Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma opening the innings.

Rohit scored an unbeaten 48 in Tuesday's must-win game against Sri Lanka to go with his 46 in their 102-run victory against the West Indies.

Dhawan fell early but compiled a fluent 77-ball 69 in the win against the hosts.
Kohli is the pivot around which the Indian batting revolves, and the Delhi player left his mark with a century off just 83 balls in their penultimate round-robin match against the West Indies.

Then there is Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina, with rising all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja completing the batting line-up. And in the event of Dhoni returning to the playing eleven it will only strengthen the batting.


Image: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar sensational

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In the bowling department, India's young bowlers have excelled and were largely responsible for setting up victories in the last two matches.

Twenty-two-year-old seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who produced a career-best dream spell of 4 for 8 in a devastating exhibition of swing bowling against the Lankans on Tuesday, deserves special mention. He was also successful in the win against the West Indies, picking three wickets.

Umesh Yadav, too, has been impressive, claiming wickets at regular intervals in the last two games, and so were Ishant Sharma and Jadeja.


Image: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Photographs: BCCI

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